Becoming Jane

2007, Romance/Biography, 2h 0m

140 Reviews 100,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

Although Becoming Jane is a well-crafted period piece, it lacks fresh insight into the life and works of Jane Austen. The film focuses too much on wardrobe and not enough on Austen's achievements. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Though Jane Austen's (Anne Hathaway) financially strapped parents (James Cromwell, Julie Walters) expect her to marry the nephew of wealthy Lady Gresham (Maggie Smith), the young woman knows that such a union will destroy her creativity and sense of self-worth. Instead, she becomes involved with Tom Lefroy (James McAvoy), a charming but penniless apprentice lawyer who gives her the knowledge of the heart she needs for her future career as a novelist.

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Critic Reviews for Becoming Jane

Audience Reviews for Becoming Jane

  • Jun 17, 2011
    If you are a Jane Austen fan, you may enjoy this costume drama, even if you get annoyed at Hollywood's version of her story. The movie illustrates how people in Jane's real life inspired her in creating her characters. It gives some fresh insight into happy endings.
    Juli R Super Reviewer
  • Jun 04, 2011
    For the most part it feels like I've seen this movie before, but I suppose there are only so many ways you can expect a romance with period-themes to unfold. Not saying the script lacks sophistication but you'd also expect more verbally exhausting dialogue in a movie that pays homage to Austen. Pleasantly enough it doesn't overwrite us with conceit but at the same time fans of her novels might be disappointed. Most of the highlights are the subtle humor and watching McAvoy verbally duel things out with Hathaway; unfortunately both of these aspects die out of the film half way through. In the end it does the job without becoming an annoying blatant analysis of her literature but barely holds the viewers attention long enough to care for her somewhat generic "life experiences". If this weren't fiction it makes you wonder why there aren't more legendary authors running about.
    Drake T Super Reviewer
  • Mar 28, 2011
    By no means am I a fan of Jane Austin's work, but I ended up really enjoying this and was surprised at how original its idea is. This doesn't spend the majority of its running time using inside jokes about Austin's work or make it about her work at all. This focuses on the life of Jane Austin and her inspiration. Unsurprisingly, it's Anne Hathaway and James McAvoy that are the main attractions with their great performances. If you are a fan of either, it's enough to watch the movie. However, I really got pulled into the story and excellent blend of the "period piece" genre that made it seem genuine and not cheesy.
    Conner R Super Reviewer
  • Sep 11, 2010
    A satisfying period romance piece. Anne Hathaway’s take on the emergent Jane Austin is enjoyable but not very thought provoking. Luckily you have Hathaway’s pale countenance to express what she does not say. James McAvoy (Last king of Scotland and Atonement) burst off the screen as usual. The movie is very successful as period piece. It does not offend as being historically incorrect and it does not flash in your face I’m the most accurate period piece ever. Between the two of them there is not much chemistry, but back in the day there probably were orders of magnitude more arranged marriages than romantically driven marriages.
    Bill C Super Reviewer

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